As the medications for Hepatitis C continue to improve, greater numbers of people are relishing in their successful treatment outcomes. Despite finally being free of the Hepatitis C virus, most physicians refrain from telling their patients they are cured. The reason for avoiding this terminology is uncertainty regarding the implications of successful Hepatitis C treatment.
Many Hepatitis C drug regimens now boast a 95 percent or higher success rate. Successful treatment is defined as achieving a sustained viral response (SVR). SVR is considered attained when Hepatitis C is not detectable in the blood for at least six months after the last treatment dose. The hesitancy about SVR being the same as a cure has to do with whether or not it is permanent. Some healthcare practitioners will use the word “cure” because SVR is as close as we can get to curing Hepatitis C. Meanwhile, others will use the word “remission” because of doubts as to the permanence of SVR. Neither is entirely accurate.